Daily Archives: July 10, 2011

Triple Crossing: A Novel by Sebastian Rotella

Triple CrossingReviewed by Julie Moderson

What an incredible book. Sebastian Rotella writes with a passion I’ve seldom seen before. This is a story you will want to keep reading because you realize some of this is based on truths and it scares the crap out of you to know that this goes on every day at the border and in our own country as well.

Valetine Rescatore is a rookie Border Patrol agent. He is a kind-hearted guy that gives money to people that he captures and knows they are going to be sent back to their homeland. He gets himself into trouble and is recruited to be an informant by Isabel Puente, a very beautiful US agent who is investigating a powerful Mexican crime family. Almost instantly Valetine has a crush on Isabel but she doesn’t acknowledge that she feels the same.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

The Paris WifeReviewed by Teri Davis

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another. “ Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway is remembered as a phenomenal author but also as a person who lived and died by his own set of rules. With four wives, bull fights, friendships or enemies with other authors, and suicide, all of these set his life apart from anything but normal. In The Paris Wife, Paula McLain magnifies one section of Ernest Hemingway’s life, the time with his first wife, Elizabeth “Hadley” Richardson.

This story revolves around when Hadley and Ernest first meet through when they divorce. Hadley was twenty-nine years old when she met the twenty-one year old Hemingway. There was an instantaneous attraction. They quickly married and moved to Europe, centering mostly in Paris. At this time, numerous legendary authors formed a close-knit community here and spent much time together with the couple such as Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, John Dos Passos, and F. Scott Fitzgerald as well as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Juan Gris. Most of this time, Ernest worked as a journalist while being a financially struggling writer on the side. Their experiences and the visits to Spain for the bull fighting and the runs became much of the content of the memorable novels.

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Withering TightsReviewed by Teri Davis

Many fourteen-year-old girls desperately are trying to fit in and to become popular. It is difficult when you grow unevenly and feel like you are all legs even if you’re living in Britain.

Tallulah Casey is thrilled to be able to fulfill her dreams since she has been accepted to spend the summer at a Performing Arts College. Being that her application was accepted late, there wasn’t room for Tallulah in the dormitory. The school does arrange for her to stay at a nearby home with an eccentric local family.

The theme for the summer program is Wuthering Heights in this moorland of the Yorkshire Dales. Where sheep abound in the town and squirrel slippers keep you warm on chilly mornings, Tallulah begins to awkwardly grow into her height, starting to understanding embarrassing families, kissing boys, making friends, and discovering if she has any talent for this performing arts school.

Making new friends seems fairly easy. The school itself is a challenge since none of her teachers seem to think she has any talent, just clumsiness. Also interesting is that there is an all boys school also in the town. So knowing that boys are around, maybe Tallulah will be kissed for the first time. More importantly, maybe she will finally begin to fill out and need a bra.

The Twisted Thread by Charlotte Bacon

The Twisted ThreadReviewed by Patricia Reid

Madeline Christopher has landed a job at Armitage Academy. Armitage is a prestigious school with many traditions but some of the traditions are not common knowledge among the faculty. When Claire Harkness is found dead in her dorm room, the investigation brings some of these secret traditions to light.

Madeline is one of the first to view Claire’s body and was shocked that it appeared that Claire might have just given birth. Madeline’s intuitions turn out to be accurate but the baby has disappeared. Not only is Armitage faced with the death of a very popular student but a student who has managed to keep her pregnancy hidden from the faculty. Only a few trusted friends were aware that Claire was pregnant.

The only student deaths that Armitage had experienced were that of three other students. One student died in a car accident, one died of leukemia and another in a climbing accident. Now the police were out on the campus in full force. Both the students and the faculty were in turmoil.

Unbelievable Adventures of a WW II German War Bride by Ingeborg M. Johnston

Unbelievable Adventures of a WWII German War BrideReviewed by Cy Hilterman

There are several “unbelievable” characteristics of Ingeborg and her story. First, the fact that she grew up in Nazi controlled Germany; second that she loved good people and did all she could for them, even to this day; and third that she took on so many things in her life that she ended up loving almost all of them. The first part of the book tells of her growing up as Germany went to war. “Inge” ran through bombing raids to assist injured in the hospital or clinics that were not destroyed. She had no regard for her life when she could help others. The early parts of the book also tell of her schooling in Berlin, her family’s activities as the Nazi Party grew and took over Germany, and her family. As the war started looking bad for Germany, the residents had to find safe places to be away form the gung-ho Nazi’s as well as the hard charging Russians as they tried to reach Berlin first so they could control it.

Inge tells of her family, their villages and cities, the composition of the large family, and the struggles to exist in a bombed out city where every victorious nation wanted a part of it, but was eventually divided up into East and West Berlin with the Communists controlling East Berlin. Anyone living in East Berlin was stuck there without the ability to visit anyone out of that area. The ones living in West Berlin could come and go into East Berlin but the Berlin Wall kept the division very tight.

Inge loved swimming and teaching it to anyone interested. She became a champion swimmer. She married Jerry. She and Jerry eventually moved to the United States through New York, then to Philadelphia. They had two daughters, Eileen and Jacqueline, who were also great swimmers from a very young age. Inge entered the Mrs. America Contest and won, but when it was learned that she was not a United States citizen, she was disqualified. Not a happy moment but the satisfaction that she could win such a contest made the family happy. Sometime, not disclosed in the book, Inge obtained a divorce from Jerry. She eventually met and married her present love, Jim Johnston. They have had a fantastic life. They moved to Colorado, Florida, and back to Colorado. They loved boats and had much fun with them as well as some problems that made life very interesting. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida they belonged to the Navy League, once again showing their love for boating and fellow humans.

Pole Shift 2: The Ribbon Years by Albert Samuel Tukker

Reviewed by Teri Davis

As a continuation from the first book Pole Shift, this novel continues. As a quick refresher, Pole Shift is the thrilling action adventure novel about the change of our planet’s magnetic poles due to the galactic alignment and change in the gravitational forces that actually shift our magnetic poles which level the mountains and create the Plains Sea in middle America.

Forrest Woods, along with Claire, is continuing his search for survivors in the area of what we now consider as Arizona, Kansas, and Nebraska and being guided by the spirit of his former wife in the form of a blue firefly. He is also looking for the changes in geography as well as the changes in the wildlife such as carnivorous rabbits and cows.

Forrest and Claire are constantly wondering about the people they meet along their journey. They are surprised that there seem to be either those who are evil or good. There is no middle ground. They are constantly rescuing those who need help and attempting to eliminate those who take advantage of others.

There are also many realistic health and injury challenges which are believable with anyone being exposed to the elements and fighting with others. The grieving of personal losses also is considered and varied as it is in real life.